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Court: Gun shop shutdown in pandemic did not violate 2nd Amendment

A customer walks into Dark Storm Industries at

A customer walks into Dark Storm Industries at 4116 Sunrise Highway in Oakdale on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Credit: James Carbone

ALBANY — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's shutdown of gun shops as nonessential businesses during the pandemic did not violate the 2nd Amendment.

In doing so, Judge Lawrence Kahn of the U.S. Northern District of New York court rejected arguments by Dark Storm Industries of Oakdale that not only challenged the governor's authority to close businesses but also sought to have gun stores declared essential — like grocery stores and pharmacies — and allowed to remain open.

Kahn said a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions gives government broad latitude to act to protect public health during a pandemic.

“The court is hard pressed to find that orders mandating the closure of businesses in a facially-neutral manner do not pass constitutional muster,” Kahn wrote.

Cuomo, using emergency powers, in March ordered the closures of all but “essential” businesses in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Most retail businesses have reopened since then. Dark Storm, which, according to court documents, sells guns and ammunition, contended Cuomo overstepped his authority.

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